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Govt Remains Divorced from Reality of Kyoto

Govt Remains Divorced from Reality of Kyoto Protocol

20 February 2002 PR22/02 Govt Remains Divorced from Reality of Kyoto Protocol

The speech delivered by the Minister of Finance to the Northern Employers and Manufacturers Kyoto Business Summit today seemed divorced from reality and failed to recognise the full range of implications of ratifying the Kyoto Protocol, says Federated Farmers President Alistair Polson.

"Hon Michael Cullen acknowledged the unique nature of agriculture's contribution to New Zealand's Green House Gas (GHG) profile, but failed to acknowledged that science is unlikely to deliver viable mitigation solutions for the agriculture sector in the next 10 - 20 years," said Mr Polson.

"Federated Farmers are seeking a more cautious approach to ratification, that explores the full range of high impact / low cost options to mitigate GHG emissions," Mr Polson said in his address to the summit.

"Even though the Government's National Interest Analysis of New Zealand's intended ratification of the Kyoto Protocol is inadequate, it clearly states that New Zealand risks slowing economic growth and diverting investment offshore.

"New Zealand is highly dependent on primary production and energy-intensive industrial processing. We cannot afford to risk the international competitiveness of our exports by ratifying before our key trading competitors or imposing high costs of production on export producers.

"A global response is need to climate change, and at the moment too many countries, for example India and China, are outside the protocol. The reality is any emissions reduction or increases in New Zealand will have little or no effect in reducing climate change."

"The Federation does not advocate inaction on climate change, but has difficulty supporting the Government's intent to ratify the protocol given the inadequate analysis of the costs and benefits of doing so."


For more information: Alistair Polson PH 025 350 085 Jacob Haronga PH 021 126 2219

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